Friday, June 30, 2006

Line of the Day

From Rolling Stone's review of the new Dashboard Confessional album:
Dusk and Summer can be as ponderous and precious as a Hallmark card, but it succeeds because Carrabba has found music as intense and bittersweet as his deep, deep feelings. [29 Jun 2006, p.68]
I love that everyone in the world makes fun of Chris Carraba and his tortured soul.

El Toro, Here I Come

Sorry for the relative quiet the last couple of days. Things have gotten a little busier on the work front, and everyone's rushing to get stuff done before the holiday weekend. Plus, the music scene's been a little quiet this week, and I can't really come up with anything to top those Japanese exercise / language-training videos anyway.

Luckily for me, I managed to get everything I needed to do taken care of today, meaning I can take tomorrow off to hit El Toro, Kingda Ka, and, of course, the kick-ass Nitro. I should say, though, that as good as these rides are, I'm still not a huge fan of Great Adventure -- it's too crowded, poorly designed, and on average has too many rides out of service. And their food options are terrible. That's why I can wait to get home this summer to hit Kings Island.

Anyway, if you don't hear from me sooner, expect a recap of Saturday night's 3-concert extravaganza, as I run from The Little Ones at Bowery to Birdmonster at Knitting Factory to Le Firm at The Delancey. Should be fun.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bloc Party Not Playing Irving Plaza

Per Brooklyn Vegan, the rumored Bloc Party show at Irving Plaza on July 27th is OFF. Instead, the band will be playing at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Tickets are available via pre-sale for fan club members now. No word as to general on-sale, but be sure to check here if you're interested.

Finally, Some Sanity

In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the President does not have the power to set up military tribunals to try "enemy combatants" without normal considerations of international law and due process.

Thank god.

I'm all for fighting terrorism, but what exactly do we gain if we defeat terror (something we're unlikely to ever truly "defeat") and in the process completely obliterate the Constitution?

The Bush Administration has, since 9/11, espoused an argument that the executive has nearly limitless powers, and that, when it deems someone or something to be "terrorist", it is not bound even by fundamental rules of due process or international law. This is an unbelievably dangerous and short-sighted policy -- it relies on a subjective determination of who or what is "terrorism", and opens the door to unchecked abuse; it completely belies the long-held belief (in America, at least) that America is the world's leader in protecting human rights and freedom; it opens the door to other countries using the same logic to indefinitely detain and try American citizens; and, as alluded to, it threatens the entire framework of our Constitution's checks and balances and guarantees of individual rights.

We gain nothing if, in the process of fighting terrorism, we destroy the things that this country is supposed to stand for.

The article about the decision can be found here. Not surprisingly, Thomas, Scalia and Alito dissented. Can't wait to read their reasoning.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Best Music News Hoax of the Year?

Yeah, this was a hoax which gained legs when Pitchfork said it was real. Why, oh why, would I ever trust Pitchfork "news"? If they're not stealing headlines from Billboard, it's just not gonna be right.

Everyone and their mother is reporting the incredible news -- Neutral Milk Hotel appears to be back in business after a lengthy, mysterious absence. Jeff Mangum dropped the following post on the Elephant 6 message board:
hello again.

for the past few months ive been putting together the pieces of everything ive written in the past three years and its been a revelation. whenever i had the time ive been writing melodies and keeping them in my head for later, and songs just accumulate, im not waiting as some have said. i still dont know how we're going to put it all together, the songs will have more noises and collages in them. because of that we dont know whether this will be korena pang or neutral milk hotel or michael bolton but that doesnt really matter. names are just a box we put things in to separate them, and we're figuring out what box these songs go in.

we dont have a timetable for releasing the album yet, so dont get your hopes up for new songs now. if you want more "aeroplane" just ignore all of this, the songs are songs but they're longer and more free. when jeremy came down after his tour we just spent days playing noise while screaming and it was incredibly liberating.

it has been so much fun that we will for sure be playing a show or two, probably more. freedom is a wonderful thing but at a certain point you need the routines of normal life. ive had that for a while but i realized last year at the show with the livys that the best sort of normal ive ever had was on the road with my friends. getting to gigs late with cars coughing and trombones smacking on doors, the giant egg leaks over the masses, the yolk sustains us, we eat whites for days. it can never be the same but i need to get as close as i can to that again.

so thats all. everything is happening soon, this is the year.

thanks for listening. jeff.
And, according to Pitchfork, there's actual verification that these are, indeed, Jeff's words.

In a word -- spectacular.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sleater-Kinney Call It A Day

After eleven years as a band, Sleater-Kinney have decided to go on indefinite hiatus. The upcoming summer shows will be our last. As of now, there are no plans for future tours or recordings.

We feel lucky to have had the support of many wonderful people over the years. We want to thank everyone who has worked with us, written kind words about us, performed with us, and inspired us.

But mostly we want to extend our gratitude to our amazing fans. You have been a part of our story from the beginning. We could not have made our music without your enthusiasm, passion, and loyalty. It is you who have made the entire journey worthwhile

With love and thanks,
Guess I definitely need to catch them at Lollapalooza - i.e., their final show.

June 27, 2006 - A Day That Shall Live in Infamy


Yacht Rock

June 26, 2005 - June 27, 2006

At least we have one final episode before we say goodbye forever. Ooooooh, goo goo zaa, mmmm.

Built to Spill in Boise, Part 2

Here's Part Two of the Built to Spill show from Boise earlier this month. Sorry it took a couple of days -- EZArchive's been acting up again like the petulant child that it is.

"Conventional Wisdom"
"They Got Away"
"Mess With Time"
"Life's A Dream"
"Broken Chairs"

Axl, Mike Tyson, Mike Tyson, Axl

Axl Rose bites security guard.

Now you know the comeback's for real.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Belated Notes From All Over

Had a series of links ready to go last Friday but forgot to post them. So, while I'm at it, I figured I'd add a few more I found today. Enjoy.

If you haven't heard it yet, Muzzle of Bees has Bloc Party's Black Sessions from France.

Torr has a couple interesting links. First, a link for a video for Mojave 3's "Love Songs on the Radio". Second, an acoustic version of the Delgados' "Everybody Come Down".

Bradley's Almanac has a live set from David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion and Headphones) in Boston last week.

Jefitoblog has the Complete Idiot's Guide to Elliot Smith.

You can go listen the last song Johnny Cash wrote, "On the 309", at the MySpace page for his final album, American V, due out on July 4th. (Link via Stereogum.)

My Old Kentucky Home has Rogue Wave covering Nirvana's "On a Plain".

Apparently the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. I stopped caring (but not watching) after my Red Wings got bounced out by Edmonton. The Oakroom celebrates the Hurricanes' win by rockin' some Scorpions.

And, finally, for those of you who made it to the bottom, Pop Tart has another new M Ward song from the forthcoming Post-War album called "Chinese Translation". I'd also like a Hebrew translation if possible.

Game of Pricks

Largehearted Boy points the way to a video of Bob Pollard and the boys performing "Game of Pricks" at Schuba's in Chicago last week. Not great quality, but it's as close as I'm coming to seeing Bob and the boys for a few months.

Oh, and there's no way I'd be able to hold a camera during that song. "Game of Pricks" was designed for drunken jumping, flailing and screaming. Just like being a lawyer.

Screw Summer Re-runs..

.. and join me at Mercury Lounge on Thursday, July 27th to see Human Television and Pela. Tickets are $10, but the Merc's website makes it look like there won't be advanced tix. I'll let you know if that changes.

AOL Roundup (Week of June 26)

Helluva week over at AOL:

Judy Garland, The Essential Judy Garland

Wayman Tisdale, Way Up! (ex-NBA player goes smooth jazz... that sound you hear is me simultaneously vomiting and jumping out my window)

Good Riddance, My Republic

Grant Lee Philips, Nineteeneighties

Hyde, Faith (Christian rock that's apparently huge in Japan)

The one that I'll definitely listen to:

Tim O'Reagan, Tim O'Reagan (former Jayhawks drummer)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Built to Spill @ Big Easy Concert House, Boise [6/3/06]

If you're like me, it almost feels like Built to Spill kinda disappeared all over again. The band went five years between albums, and then dropped the excellent, though a little ponderous, You In Reverse in April. The band announced a spring tour, and then had to postpone those dates until the fall due to Doug's detached retina. (Ouch.) played the hell out of "Goin' Against Your Mind" for a while, and then stopped. Thus, after all the build-up and excitement about the new album, it's almost as if the band went back on hiatus again.

So when I saw that the band had started its Western tour, and that one of the shows was up at BT Etree, I figured it might help remind me that the band was still around, and hold me over until their re-scheduled Irving Plaza shows in, err, October.

What I've listened to so far is excellent, though the crowd noise can be a little distracting at times. Otherwise, though, it's good to hear them live again. Check out part one:

"Goin' Against Your Mind"
"Good Ol' Boredom" (unreleased)
"The Weather"
"You Put It All Behind You" (new)

Edited to add: "Else" is fixed. Sorry about that!

Ryan Adams @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC [6/24/06]

Unbelievably tired, so I'll keep this short. Ryan and band went on at 2am, off at 3:30am. One set (thankfully). Set was heavy on Cold Roses, a few from the Rock n' Roll and Love is Hell era, a couple from Heartbreaker and a few other songs scattered throughout. Highlights for me were "Dear Chicago", "Cherry Lane" and "To Be Young".

All told, it was a good Ryan show, if not great. I thought they did a good job of putting together a pretty upbeat setlist without too many lulls like they had on the first Cold Roses tour where they were jamming everything out over two sets. At the same time, the only ones who really seemed like they were happy to be there were Ryan and Brad. The new guitarist, whose name I don't know - note: former guitarist JP Bowersock was seated in the balcony - stuck out like a sore thumb. Didn't seem to fit with the band, or be particularly happy to be there. I think he's been in the band for the better part of a year, but it sure didn't seem like it.

Oh, why exactly did it take until 1:30am for them to let us upstairs at Bowery?

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

One of the only benefits of working as a lawyer at a somewhat large law firm is that the legion of legal support companies - i.e., the companies that do large copy jobs, transcribe or videotape depositions, or provide document storage services - are always trying to get your business. On occasion, that translates into some decent swag, from Yankees/Giants tickets to Starbucks gift cards to a free annual NYC Zagat book.

Then, of course, there are the lazy companies who mysteriously leave boxes of two or three "fresh" cookies (read: baked in the corporate equivalent of the Easy-Bake Oven, the Otis Spunkmeyer Toaster Oven) for you in your mail box. The first question, of course, is why exactly do I want to eat cookies from a box that anyone could have opened, and I don't know where they're from, and I don't know exactly what strange human has touched and breathed on them? So most of the time I just dump them in the trash. Or I use them as frisbees in the hallway.

But sometimes, on days like today where maybe I had a beer or two at lunch, my slight buzz convinces me to give them a try. Invariably, though, the problem is that the cookies they give you are just plain shit. Without fail, you open the little box hoping for chocolate chip, or maybe peanut butter, but you end up with oatmeal raisin cookies.

Oatmeal raisin cookies are the cookie equivalent of the lap dance. You get all excited by the concept of eating a cookie, you tell yourself that maybe you'll run an extra mile at the gym that night, you feel kinda guilty about wasting calories on a crappy cookie but decide to do it anyway, and then, as you open the box, you realize that this is an oatmeal raisin cookie, and isn't really interested in making you happy -- it's really just there to tease and maybe get you to spend some money. And then you eat it anyway, knowing that raisins have no earthly place in a cookie, and hating yourself a little more with each bite.

I'm convinced that no one actually likes the oatmeal raisin cookie. It's like the fruit cake. They keep making them, and people keep giving them as gifts, even though there's no one in the world who really wants one. And in that way they're kinda like Adam Sandler movies or White Stipes albums.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Le Firm @ Pianos, NYC [6/21/06]

Le Firm played their fourth ever show at Pianos last night and showed glimpses of why they're a band to be taken seriously. They're even starting to get folks from one of the web's favorite bands coming out to their shows. My recommendation? Check them out soon, so you can say you knew them when.

Up next is a Saturday, July 1st show at the Delancey, and then July 14th at Sin-e, opening for Dressy Bessy. Do as I say, and go.

Le Firm, "Your Unknown"
Dressy Bessy, "Electrified"

My Lollapalooza Plans

Today has been one long trademark law nightmare, sorry for the lack of posts. Anyway, I'm back in the saddle, and just got done reviewing the newly-released Lollapalooza schedule and putting together my plan of attack.

In case you're wondering, this is my initial draft:

12pm: Midlake
12:30pm: The Subways
1:30pm: Cursive
3:30pm: Jeremy Enigk
4:30pm: Ryan Adams
5:30pm: Iron and Wine
6:30pm: Special Guest (I'm hoping for Poison)
7:30pm: Sleater-Kinney
8:30pm: To the casino

12pm: Rainer Maria
1pm: Cold War Kids
2:30pm: Built to Spill
3:30pm: Calexico
4:30pm: Sonic Youth
6:30pm: Flaming Lips
7:30pm: New Pornographers
8:30pm: To the bar... skip Kanye and his mad beats

12:30pm: Sparta
1:30pm: The Frames
2:30pm: Ben Kweller (maybe)
3:30pm: New Amsterdams
4:30pm: The Shins
6:30pm: Wilco
7:30pm: To the airport...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Hate Coldplay

And apparently so does the Lord:

Reason #179 Why I Miss Japan

God bless Every Day Should Be Saturday for finding this.

Actually, if you're gonna watch anything, watch this second one. It tells the sad tale of a walk in the park gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Pixies Ditch New Material

According to, the Pixies have decided to abandon the songs they've written for a possible new album and, most likely, completely ditch the idea of doing a new album.

As Frank explains:
I tried to find my Pixies muse and write a so-called Pixies number ... but they just weren't any good. They sounded a little contrived or something.
Thanks to Kingblind for the head's up.

June 18th, When Steve Finally Listens to Bishop Allen

Despite all of the good things being said about Bishop Allen around the blogs, I had somehow managed to go without hearing anything from them until three days ago. Then, in the gym with my iPod on shuffle, I discovered their song "The Monitor" which I had apparently downloaded without knowing it.

What a great song. And it turns out they have a bunch of other great songs too. Check out a few:

"The Monitor"
"Butterfly Nets"
"Flight 180"

There's also two more up at their website, and also at their MySpace page.

The band is playing a release party for their latest ep, the "June EP" (they've done an EP per month since January), next Friday, June 30th, at Pianos. Tickets are on sale. I may need to pick one up.

Thirty Helens Agree - I'm an Idiot

Seriously, I need to stop buying tickets to see Beirut if I'm not going to go to the show. Or, even better, I should just get my ass to one of his shows. I've now held tickets to 3 shows and skipped each one for one lame reason or another.

(Yes, it's only now, as I ponder a possible move to Brooklyn, that I admit my aversion to traveling to Brooklyn for a concert is a lame reason.)

Anyway, word on the street is that last night's show at Southpaw was incredible. Stupid, stupid Steve.

Jeff Tweedy - Letters to Santa Series

I mentioned a few days ago that RBally was running a six-part series from Jeff Tweedy's solo charity gig earlier this year. Well, the whole series is up, and I strongly recommend that you take a few minutes and check it out:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

And while you're at it, bookmark RBally. Hands down one of the best music blogs out there.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Bright Eyes @ Bonnaroo, Part 2

Here's the rest of the Bright Eyes set from Bonnaroo. Enjoy!

"Hello Sunshine"
"Singing a Song in the Morning"
"An Attempt to Tip the Scales"
"Well Whiskey"
"June on the West Coast"

Le Firm Establishes NYC Dominance

Your favorite New York band (and mine) that's played just three live shows, Le Firm, will soon be your favorite New York band that's played seven live shows. That's right, Le Firm are going to be devastating the cool kids four times over the next couple of months. The specs:

- Tomorrow!, June 21st, at Pianos at 9pm. [TIX]
- Saturday, July 1st, at the Delancey at 11pm.
- Friday, July 14th, at Sin-e at 10pm.
- Thursday, August 31st, at the Annex at 9pm.

Do yourself a favor and check these guys out before they get h.u.g.e.
Listen to some of their songs here.

Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that, in the last few days, I've taken on a bit of an informal "manager" role for the band. I promise that they're a damn fine band, and that I'm not just pimpin' my meal ticket. Which would be hard since they're not payin' me squat. Honestly, I'm in this gig for the groupies and blow.

Dirty Pretty Things On Sale Now

Many thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for the head's up on this:

Dirty Pretty Things tickets for the Bowery in August are now on sale.

Expect to see me at at least the Tuesday show.

Edited to add: I love FeedDemon and all, and the ability to know right away when Brooklyn Vegan or another site posts a great news piece or on-sale date, but if I don't remember to check it every half hour or so, I end up missing stuff. Can't someone create a program that will smack me across the face every time an important piece of news goes up? Or at least something that plays that annoying teenager high-pitch cell phone ring? If there are any software developers reading this, get on that.

Introducing Protokoll

Maybe I'm getting more jaded as I get older, but I'm making more and more of an effort to not get to a concert until the last possible minute. I've seen enough so-so opening bands to last the rest of my life, and if I can avoid standing for a period of hours, I try to do so.

So I was surprised to find myself disappointed last night when I managed to catch only the last song by Protokoll. I'd never heard of them before, but was struck almost immediately upon entering the room at Mercury that this was a band that has its shit together. They were extremely tight, and played - for that one song, at least - with a huge amount of energy. And the lead singer's hair reminds me of Cedric Bixler of the dearly-departed At The Drive-In (and current Mars Volta), so that scored some points with me too.

Anyway, I looked around and found some of their music this morning. It's pretty good. Nothing earth-shattering, but some pretty good early-80's influenced rock that doesn't sound forced like most 80's-influenced bands. I'll definitely be checking them out the next time they swing through NYC.

Check out some songs streaming at their website and MySpace page.

Customer Service at its Finest

I don't think I linked to this last week. If I did, apologies for the repetition. Check out how hard it is for this guy to cancel his AOL subscription. Unbelievable.

I go through this exact same type of hassle everytime I shop at FYE (For Your Entertainment) for CDs. There's one in my office building -- that's the only reason I go there. Every single week when I'm buying a collection of newly released indie or off-beat major label acts (they surprisingly have a decent number of indie albums), we go through the exact same dance:

(1) oh, I see you're buying _________. They're kinda alternative, right? Have you picked up the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album yet? Why not?

(2) do you have an FYE card? do you want one? don't you know about the benefits? are you sure you don't want one?

(3) we're offering a free 3 month subscription to a magazine, are you interested? no? are you sure?

I end up spending 10 minutes saying no to them every time, and pleading with them just to let me buy my cds and get back to my office. And somehow I become the bad guy.

Oh, and yeah, I've made my last FYE purchase. Ever.

Devin Davis @ Mercury Lounge, NYC [6/19/06]

I don't think I ever posted it on this site, but one of my ten favorite CDs of 2005 - #8, if memory serves - was Devin Davis' Lonely People of the World, Unite!. It was a wonderful little pop record that also managed to rock when it wanted to. Think two parts Brendan Benson when Jason Faulkner was producing him and one part Neutral Milk Hotel.

As far as I could tell, Davis didn't do much in the way of touring when the album came out last year, so I was pretty excited when I saw that he was coming to New York. Gotta say, I'm surprised how good this show was. Devin supposedly spent 2 years in the studio working on the album, so it's a polished and damn near perfect product. But I wasn't sure how it was going to come across live. Luckily, Davis has put together a damn fine backing band who really help flesh out the songs and bring the rock. Excellent stuff. Hope he comes back soon.

If you haven't heard him before, be sure to check out a couple songs from Lonely People of the World, Unite!:

"Turtle and the Flightless Bird"

"The Choir Invisible"

And go buy the album if you like what you hear.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Checking in With...

One of the websites that has been a mainstay of my web surfing over the last few years is The site has a mix of cd reviews, interviews, MP3s and news items that, for one reason or another, tend to show up on Aversion weeks before they pop up anywhere else. If you're in the market for a new site to read, I strongly recommend checking it out.

Anyway, the point of this post is to point you to two pretty interesting things at Aversion today:

First is news that Rogue Wave have finished writing their new album, the followup to last year's excellent Descended Like Vultures. They're also apparently in the market for a new label.

Second, Aversion also has what seems to be the first advance MP3 from Greg Graffin's (of Bad Religion) forthcoming solo disc, Cold As The Clay [due out on July 11th on Anti Records]. It's pretty good. It sounds kinda like what you'd expect a Bad Religion song to sound like if it was just Greg and a guitar -- but that's a good thing. Check it out:

"Don't Be Afraid to Run"

How To Make a Good Commercial

In a world filled with truly awful, obnoxious commercials that, more often than not, convince me NOT to purchase whatever is being advertised (see Mazda zoom zoom, Hyundai vroom vroom; c.f., New York City no smoking ads with scary Voice-Box Guy), every once in a while a truly great, innovative commercial comes along.

I don't drink Folgers, but this is the type of commercial that would make me think about trying it.

Is that the Polyphonic Spree, or just a close facsimile?


Lots of great stuff being offered up around the web. Check it out:

Jefitoblog is embarking on a series of posts which are pretty much going to school all of us for the weeks to come. He's currently in the middle of posting all 17 volumes of the well-known but impossible to find Live from Studio C series from KBCO. Check out parts 1 (including Roger McGuinn and Jellyfish) and 2 (including Matthew Sweet).

After this series, expect to see the thirteen disc Love, Tears & Mystery set by Bruce Springsteen, and then a ton of bootlegs, including some rare Matthew Sweet. In a word, awesome.

Remember Wheat? The adventurous Boston band that put out the incredible Hope and Adams album, only to follow it up with one of the worst albums ever recorded? Well, they're back, and this time they're more than happy to admit that Per Second, Per Second, Per Second.. Every Second sucked balls. And apparently they have a new album coming out soon. Read all about it. (Via Chromewaves.)

"Don't I Hold You" -- pre-suck Wheat

Large Hearted Boy links to a short but interesting interview with Jon Auer. Jon makes clear that, yes, the Posies did in fact break up at one point. However, I still can't work out the timeline on the whole thing, considering that the Jon/Ken acoustic tour seemed to take place just months after the breakup.

Your favorite daily stop for heavy metal news, and mine, Blabbermouth, reports that Universal Music will be releasing Live To Win, a solo album by Paul Stanley of Kiss in September. That sound you just heard was the world not caring.

Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't post something about Levon Levan, the Croatian Sensation With No Explanation, a/k/a the Croatian Tom Jones. This guy may be the greatest thing I've heard in years. If you haven't heard of him, here's a brief snippet of his website bio to whet your whistle:
Cut to many years later. Levon Levan is in America, stunning audiences left and right with his powerful vocal delivery, fiery stage presence, and insightful lyrics. When Levon launches into a funky dance number like "Steam" or a song about love, such as "I Wonder If She's Kinky" there's not a dry panty in the house.
Do yourself a favor and head over to Marathon Packs to get the whole story.

AOL Roundup (Week of June 19)

Another slow week..

Keane, Under the Iron Sea [Pitchfork's quote of the day: "Don't call it a sophomore slump-- Keane were slouching from the get-go."]
Willie Nelson, The Complete Atlantic Sessions
Counting Crows, New Amsterdam (live)
Gram Parsons, The Complete Reprise Sessions
Widespread Panic, Under Earth to America

When They Say Endless, They Really Mean It

After a couple years of merciful absence, word comes that Endless Boogie is making its return to the New York scene.

If you're unfamiliar with the EB, think of the absolute worst opening act you've ever seen - say, Morricone Youth or Baby Dayliner or Burning Brides - and then imagine listening to that act while being covered from head to toe in burning napalm while being forced to make out with Jocelyn Wildenstein, and you're still not quite to how bad Endless Boogie is.

Listen, I know it's a side-gig for a bunch of Matador people, but seriously, that's no excuse. I've had to sit through them too many times before legitimate Matador acts (Malkmus, GBV, etc.). Thankfully, this is a gig I can easily miss. The show: July 21st at Mercury Lounge, playing with Oakley Hall, Mike Wexler and Black Taj.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Net Neutrality

I'll admit, I haven't been paying as much attention to this issue as I should, but the more I read about it, the most frightened I get. Take note - this is not one of those "Congress is going to make you buy a stamp for email!" scams. This is real, folks. And if the good Canadians at Mocking Music can show this type of concern over an American law, so should we.

I can't put this any better, so I'll let Mocking Music's words speak for themselves:
Those of you who follow the news should be well aware of the ongoing debate that has surrounded network neutrality in the United States. You may not be aware, however, of the debate's impact on independent music and blogs (especially those, unlike ours, that are completely independent).

Since its inception the Internet has functioned on a principle called network neutrality. In short, individuals are given full access to any website (more or less) without any interference from their Internet providers. This concept has made the Internet the most democratic medium in all of human history. Unlike television or radio there are no governing bodies to regulate content and restrict individuals' freedom to publish and distribute that content. Restrictions do exist but they are tied to laws that oversee copyright protection and illegal activities.

Cable and phone companies have recently lobbied the US Congress to forgo the preservation of network neutrality. If they get their way the Internet will move in the same direction as television and radio. Multi-million dollar deals will restrict people's access to independent content (or even that of competing multinationals). Let's say that your Internet provider cuts a deal with company X -- that company's online content will run great on your computer -- company Y, however, which has similar (i.e. competing) content may not be accessible at all.

The videos below further explain the consequences what can be called Internet discrimination. The first offers a more informative perspective while the second looks at the issue from a humorous stance.

Video 1
Video 2

Now, what does all this have to do with music? Well, the answer is quite simple. It is no secret that indie music has benefited tremendously from the Internet. Websites, like this one, have given independent artists a platform in which to promote and distribute their music. Many artists have achieved success levels that were previously impossible without major label support. Personally, I can say that without the Internet I would likely have to listen to the shit factory that is Top 40 radio. I think it's safe to say that without the far-reaching platform provided by the Internet, independent music would be effectively doomed. It would become increasingly difficult for indie artists to reach an audience and build a fan base.

Some of you may be saying to yourselves: "Well, I'm not American, why should I care?" Like it or not, the United States happens to be the world's sole superpower and tends to have a strong influence in these matters. If the US scraps network neutrality other countries will surely follow suite. There are several things the average person can do to ensure the Internet's free and democratic exchange of information.

First, if you have a blog write something about the subject and do all you can to get the word out. Even without a blog you can still tell all your friends and spam random message boards with this information.

Second, if you happen to be an American citizen visit the Save the Internet campaign's website. Once there you can sign a petition and send an e-mail to your representative in Congress.

Third, you can add Save the Internet to your MySpace. It's one small step to raise awareness.
If you want to click through to the links mentioned in this piece, go check out the original at Mocking Music.

Bright Eyes @ Bonnaroo '06

Thanks to Stereogum for pointing out the .zip of this show. Not sure who recorded or posted it, otherwise I'd be happy to drop an acknowledgement in that direction too..

Without further ado, part one of Bright Eyes at Bonnaroo this weekend:

"Lover I Don't Have to Love"
"Soul Singer in the Session Band"
Band Intros and Ramblings
"Another Traveln' Song"
"Laura Laurent"

Evil is Real

Well, maybe. I was checking out this weekend's box office estimates at Box Office Mojo and noticed something interesting. Weekend grosses for the remake of The Omen, which you will remember opened on 6/6/06 (oooh, scary!), dropped by -- wait for it -- 66.6%. See for yourself.

I have to assume this is some sort of studio ploy. Unless, of course, it's Satan.

PS: Yeah, I've used this picture before. It's the greatest thing ever.

Birdmonster on WOXY

Birdmonster's live set from the other day is now up on WOXY's website for download as an MP3. Get it here.


Ice Age
'Cause You Can
The Bar In The Back Of The Basement
- interview -
Resurrection Song

Saturday, June 17, 2006

La Rocca @ Pianos [6/17/06]

June seems to be the month that I'm finally getting to see a lot of the great artists and bands I've been discovering over the last few months. In the next week or so, I'll be seeing Devin Davis, Beirut, Birdmonster and the Little Ones for the first time.

Last night was Dublin's La Rocca. I've only heard a handful of songs from them so far, primarily off of their recent Sing Song Sung ep, but have liked pretty much everything I've heard. The band's sound is somewhat all over the place -- at times very poppy and energetic, at times very 60's/70's American rock songwriter-esque (think The Band or Springsteen), and at times very big-sounding Brit rock (think Coldplay or Keane). Nontheless, despite their schizophrenic sound, you get the sense listening to them that this is a band that could be very, very big.

Their live show supports this theory. Even though Pianos is a tiny little club, it was hard not to imagine seeing the band on a much bigger stage. The band sounded great, and really seemed to click together on stage in a way that very few bands -- especially bands without a full-length LP to their name -- do.

La Rocca's debut full-length LP, The Truth, which was recorded with Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air, Supergrass, Belle & Sebastian), comes out on Dangerbird Records on August 8th. Expect to hear a lot more from these guys in the fall.

"Some You Give Away" [from The Truth]

"Built a Gun" [Internet-only single]

You can also hear several other songs at the band's MySpace page.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Lucero Return to NYC!

While bouncing around the web, I came upon a couple of new Lucero related shows in the New York area.

First, lead singer Ben Nichols is doing an acoustic set with Dustin Kensrue of Thrice at the Knitting Factory on Saturday, July 29th. Tickets are on sale. Unfortunately, I have tickets to see Bloc Party at a swimming pool in Brooklyn that night.

Then, the full band is playing the Rocks Off Concert Cruise on Saturday, August 5th. Tickets are available here.

I'm a little torn on this one. As you know, I love me some Lucero. But I have real questions about going to see a band on a boat. Most of the bands that play the Rocks Off thing are cheesy cover bands or jam bands. And I have visions of being surrounded by tourists taking the cruise just to get a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty. The whole thing just kinda skeezes me out.

Anybody been on one of these cruises? Any thoughts? How's the sound? Is the whole thing as awful as it sounds? Any chance we'll see Rio?

Ryan Adams at Bowery, 6/23-ish

Per Brooklyn Vegan, Ryan Adams will be playing next Friday night / Saturday morning at the Bowery Ballroom. He's playing under the pseudonym "Cold Roses, Inc."

Tickets are still available here, but I can only imagine they'll be gone soon. Go. now.

Listen to Bonnaroo Online This Weekend

If you're not out watching soccer, golf, Human Television or La Rocca this weekend, find yourself a comfy chair and click your web browser here to check out a bunch of Bonnaroo acts streaming live (for free!). It's just like being there, without the stink of patchouli.

Among the streaming acts:

Friday: Andrew Bird, Bright Eyes
Saturday: Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket
Sunday: Moe, Phil Lesh and Friends

Love me some internet.

REM on Letterman, 1983

Thanks to Each Note Secure for pointing this out -- REM's first ever national television appearance, on Letterman, way the hell back in October 1983.

I've liked the band quite a bit the few times I've seen them in recent years, but damn, I wish I'd seen them back in the day.

Ryan Adams @ Starland Ballroom on July 20th

Every once in a while I'm thankful that Ticketmaster sends me so many unsolicited emails. Today's email, entitled "Don't Miss Godsmack" (and, seriously, how could I ever miss Godsmack?), was kind enough to point out a new Ryan Adams show in the NYC area next month. To wit:

Ryan Adams
Starland Ballroom
Sayreville, NJ
Thu, 07/20/06

Tickets are on sale tomorrow at noon via Ticketmaster.

Is there a reason he won't play in NYC anymore unless it's a package show of some sort? (Phil Lesh & Friends, Arthur Lee Benefit, Willie Nelson, etc.)
Ignore me. Ryan at Bowery = awesome!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Birdmonster Live on WOXY Tomorrow

I've mentioned this before, but a reminder for those of you new to the site:

Birdmonster, one of the blog buzz bands that truly deserves the buzz, is doing a live in-studio Lounge Act performance tomorrow (Friday) at 4pm on the world's best radio station, I've got it marked down in my Outlook reminders..

WOXY also has several other notable Lounge Acts coming up, including:

Staggering Statistics (w/ John Curley of the Afghan Whigs) on Thursday, June 22nd at 6pm.

Human Television on Friday, July 21st at 3pm.

Silversun Pickups on Wednesday, August 9th at 3pm.

A full list of upcoming Lounge Acts can be found here.

Here Come the Doctors and Dealers reports that Dirty Pretty Things, the new band from 3/4 of the Libertines, has scheduled a short U.S. tour in August. The dates:

Aug 4 - Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles
Aug. 9 - Slim's, San Francisco
Aug. 11 - Schubas Tavern, Chicago
Aug. 13 - Great Scott, Boston
Aug. 14, 15 - Bowery Ballroom, New York

For those of you in New York, don't go rushing off to Ticketweb just yet, as they're not up yet.

How about this for a deal -- I'll post onsale as soon as I find it. If anyone out there gets the info first, email me. Deal? Awesome.


Tickets are now on sale for the Stew-approved Silversun Pickups at Mercury Lounge on Thursday, August 3rd.

Expect these to move quickly. I would also expect a second area show, maybe Brooklyn, maybe Hoboken, maybe both. With this much buzz coming from the NYC blogs, one show just isn't enough. (Is it, Beirut? Cold War Kids? Tapes n' Tapes? etc.)

Edited to add: Forgot that this was the same night as New Pornographers/Calexico/Frames in Central Park. Guess I'm gonna have to see the Frames and then cut out to see Silversun Pickups....

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Hiders

As much as I enjoyed seeing Wussy at the Northside Tavern in Cincinnati a couple of months ago, I'm starting to think that the best part of that night was my discovery of The Hiders.

Just before Wussy's set, I was talking to some folks in the crowd about bands, and one of them told me that I had to check out a Cincy band called The Hiders. I'd never heard of them before, but promised that I'd check them out.

It's a damn good thing that I did. It turns out that, just as Wussy is the new band featuring Chuck Cleaver of the Ass Ponys, the Hiders are the new band of the Ass Ponys' Bill Alletzhauser. And, if it wasn't clear already, it turns out that Chuck wasn't the only ace songwriter in that band.

Check out a couple songs:

"Everything I Wanted"

"Into the Sun" (live) [Highly Recommended]

You can hear more at the band's home page or its MySpace page, and you can buy the band's latest disc, Valentine, at CD Baby or Miles of Music.

Unfortunately, the band doesn't have a ton of dates scheduled right now, but they are coming kinda close to NYC -- they're at WXPN's "All About the Music Festival" in.. ahem.. Camden, NJ, on Sunday July 23rd.

J.J. Redick, Drunk Driver

We already knew that J.J. Redick loves the cock. Now we know he likes the sauce, too.

Wouldn't you figure that Duke would be giving its players driving lessons, what after the whole Jason Williams and Bobby Hurley thing?

Sound Team and Cold War Kids at Mercury Lounge

Hadn't noticed this before, but the Mercury Lounge's website lists two new shows at the end of July with Sound Team and Cold War Kids. Cold War Kids open. Shows are Friday/Saturday July 28/29, and tickets are $12. No word yet as to when tickets are on sale, but you'd be smart to check Ticketweb tomorrow morning, as 85% of all tickets there go on sale on Wednesday mornings..

Can't Wait

I'd heard this was coming, but thanks to Stereogum for pointing the way to the trailer.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Monday, June 12, 2006

Rogue Wave @ Southpaw, 6/1/06, Part 2

If you're not tied up listening to all of the live sets I linked to earlier, here's the second half of Rogue Wave's show from Brooklyn last week.

"I'm Only Sleeping"
"Salesman at the Day of the Parade"
"Publish My Love"
"Love's Lost Guarantee"
Encore Break
"Kicking the Heart Out"
"Sewn Up"
"Something In the Air"

Sumimasen! Czech Please!

What an utter embarassment. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a soccer expert, having only recently started to understand and enjoy the game. But even to a novice like myself, it was pretty clear that the U.S. was just plain shitty today. There, I said it. Shitty. And this was the definition of a collapse.

Fortunately, I found plenty of interesting stuff to keep my mind on other things for the rest of the day.

Live Tunes

Cat Power in Boston (via Bradley's Almanac).

The Walkmen's in-studio performance on KEXP (via So Much Silence).

Cold War Kids in Atlanta (via Cable and Tweed).

Live Fishbone A to Z (via Berkeley Place).

Leaked Tune

"To Go Home", from M Ward's forthcoming album, Post-War, due August 22nd on Merge (via Raven Sings the Blues).

Album News

Chromewaves reports that, a week after M Ward, we can expect a new studio album from none other than Bob Dylan entitled Modern Times. Hopefully I'll be able to catch him on tour this time around somewhere other than Hammerstein Ballroom, where I could barely see anything on stage, and had to take comfort in seeing his hair (read: 'fro) pop up over the crowd every few minutes.

Random Entertainment

Go listen to this. Make sure your speakers are at at least 50% (it's not loud). See what, if anything, you can hear.

This is apparently a new cell phone ring being used by kids in school. It is an extremely high pitched ring that most adults, including teachers, can't hear, as their ears stop can't make out higher registers. If you can't hear it, you're just old. (Via I Am Fuel, You Are Friends).

AOL Roundup (Week of June 12)

In a week that's pretty soft in terms of new releases, you can't really blame AOL for sucking so much. But I will anyway.

Barry Manilow, Live
Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped
The Replacements, Don't You Know Who I Think I Was?: Best of
Regina Spektor, Begin to Hope
Hot Chip, The Warning

My Morning Jacket on Letterman w/ Boston Pops

I missed this last week when it aired -- My Morning Jacket performing "Gideon", backed up by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. Thankfully, Culture Bully has the link to YouTube, as well as an MP3 of the performance. Very cool.

Jeff Tweedy in Your Living Room

Well, not your living room, but somebody's.

RBally, who for some reason I can't stop linking to (perhaps it's the never-ending stream of great music), has audio from one of Jeff's charity shows from this past Christmas. Get thee to RBally forthwith.

The set list:

Someday Some Morning Sometime
Not For The Season
All The Same To Me
Summer Teeth
Blue Eyed Soul
A Magazine Called Sunset

Edited to add: RBally is actually posting the show in 6 segments. The whole show runs to 36 songs, and the full setlist can be found here. I'll be linking each of the future installments too.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

No More Food, Please

So I spent the bulk of the last two days at the Big Apple BBQ, eating way the hell too much food. But the fact of the matter is, as much as New Yorkers like to talk about how good our food is here, we simply don't have anything coming close to this place or this place. So when they come to visit every year, I feel that it's my duty to shove as much sausage and brisket down my troat as possible. Mission accomplished.

While I've been eating myself fat, other bloggers have actually been surprisingly active this weekend. So before I drop the second half of Rogue Wave on you, check these out:

If you have several hours to waste, and who doesn't, Yeti Don't Dance links to one of the funniest things I've ever heard. Brad Neely, an Austin comic book artist, has recorded a "books on tape" version of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone which, while generally sticking with the book's plot, adds all kinds of new words (several of the 4-letter kind) and commentary, most of which had me laughing my ass off. If you don't want to listen to the whole thing, Yeti's also got a 2.5 minute snippet. Good stuff.

If you'd rather spend your time listening to music than, err, literature:

The always stellar RBally has a live set by My Bloody Valentine from January 7, 1992 in Vancouver, BC.

I Am Fuel, You Are Friends has a new Counting Crows song that was co-written with Gemma Hayes. Sounds pretty much like CC to me, which means it's fine.

My Old Kentucky Home links to a great little song by Bugs Eat Books called "On To You". Gonna have to hear more from these guys.

And, finally, Cable and Tweed points out that Gnarls Barkley's performance of "Crazy" from the MTV Movie Award is up on You Tube. I'm sick to death of the song, which I never really liked in the first place, but what a great concept for a performance. Check it out:

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rogue Wave @ Southpaw, 6/1/06

Had the Twilight Singers not been in town last Thursday, I would have jumped the train to Brooklyn and caught Rogue Wave at Southpaw.

I've only seen the band once, back in 2002 or so, and kinda dismissed them at the time as a Shins knock-off. As time went on, though, I found myself still listening to the band's debut disc, Out of the Shadow. In fact, it's probably one of the 3 or 4 albums I listened to most when I spent 4 months in Tokyo last year. I'm not sure why, but it just seemed to encapsulate the whole out-of-body experience that is living in Japan.

[Another great Tokyo album? The Delgados' Universal Audio. I will never again be able to hear that album without thinking of Japan. Somehow, I even remember that I was listening to the album when I took this blurry, rainy picture near the Imperial Palace in January '05.]

Then, when the band released their much more expansive second disc, Descended Like Vultures, it became clear that there was a lot more to this band than I had initially thought. So I was pretty psyched earlier today to find out, via Large Hearted Boy (who else?), that the band's Southpaw show was up at Live Music Archive.

Check it out (part 1 of 2):

"Medicine Ball"
"Falcon Settles Me"
New Song
"Every Moment"
"Nourishment Nation"
"Bird On A Wire"
New Song
"I'm Only Sleeping"

Farty Pants Is Back!

Stereogum points out that the master of the pop song parody himself, Weird Al Yankovic, is back with him own take on James Blunt's "You're Beautiful". Al's version? "You're Pitiful".

Pretty good for a guy who's been doing this for more than 20 years. Seriously, I remember hearing "Eat It" for the first time in 1984 and thinking it was the funniest thing ever. Of course, I was 9 at the time, and also thought that this guy was the funniest human on earth.

New Videos

Two new videos debuting around the web this week.. take a look:

Flaming Lips - "The Wand" [via Stereogum]

Birdmonster - "Cause You Can" [via Stereogum]

New Lucero! Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers

As previously mentioned, blog-favorite Lucero recently went into the studio to record a new album with David Lowery (of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker fame) producing. reports that the album is just about done, and a title and release date have been set:
Lucero will be back in action with a new album this fall.

The alt-country band put the finishing touches on its Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers, working with producer David Lowery. It’s set for a Sept. 26 release from East West Records. A track listing has not been revealed.
Will this finally be the album that breaks the band? Hope so.

Seriously, folks, this is one of the best rock bands going these days. If you consider yourself a fan of Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, early Replacements, or Drive By Truckers - or just good, pure, true-to-life rock and roll - you owe it to yourself to give these guys a serious listen.

Here's a few songs to get you started:

"California" [from Nobody's Darlings, 2005]

"All These Love Songs" [from Lucero, 2001]

"Chain Link Fence" [from Tennessee, 2002]

Buzzcocks Add Second NY Show

In addition to their show this Monday at Irving Plaza, The Buzzcocks have now added a July 11th (Tues.) show at Warsaw in Brooklyn. Tickets went on sale yesterday at $20 a pop.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Bits, Pieces, News, Notes, Etc., Etc., Etc.

Sorry, kids, Blogger had yet another outage last night which kept me from posting this. Here's try number two:

After months of hints and speculation, it looks like we can finally expect a real East Coast tour by Wussy in October. The band's tour page provides confirmation, though no specific dates have yet been announced. Until then, the band has a few Cincinnati-area shows over the next couple of months, including a show with Alejando Escovedo at the Southgate House in Newport, KY next Wednesday, June 14th, and another Southgate House show on August 5th with Staggering Statistics and The Hiders, among others.

The best bands never last... Coolfer reports that Ambulance Ltd. is on life-support. Apparently the only remaining member of the band is the lead singer/songwriter, Marcus Congleton, who will soldier on under the Ambulance name, while the rest of the band has left to form
The Red Romance. You can check out songs by the latter at their MySpace page. I wasn't too impressed by the first too. Here's hoping Marcus finds some new bandmates, because I thought their debut album, LP, was fantastic.

All the talk on Brooklyn Vegan is about how this band Priestess, who are supposedly playing Siren Fest. Well, Coolfer links to a song of theirs today, and it's fucking awful. Lump 'em in with Wolfmother as an attempt to harken back to 70's sludge rock. Boring as shit.

In happier news, RBally has Yo La Tengo's Black Sessions from 1997.

And, finally, the first track from Alan Sparhawk's (of Low) solo album has leaked. Listen. Link via Chromewaves. It's... well... different.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Atta Boy, Blogger!

Sorry for the radio silence for the last, oh, say 24 hours... Blogger has been down (officially or non-officially) for the bulk of the last day. I'd call Blogger a piece of shit, but I was always told not to bite the hand that feeds you.

Anyway, until I actually have time to do a full post, I figured you could use some wisdom from Pretty Toney, a/k/a Ghostface Killah. Check out this whatever whatever whatever.

(Link via Marathon Packs.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

New Shows and A Song

Another verrry slow day today.. there are a few interesting things that popped up, though.

Tickets for Jeremy Enigk's (of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Fire Theft) show at Bowery Ballroom on August 11th are now on sale. I'll be there. I was fortunate to catch Jeremy at the Knitting Factory back in 1996 (jesus, is it that long ago?) in support of his solo album, The Frog Queen, and it was wonderful. His second solo album is supposedly due sometime this summer, though there's no official word yet as to a release date.

Tickets for the dual bill of X and the Rollins Band at the Nokia Theatre on August 16th go on sale this Friday. Riverboat Gamblers, who I've heard good things about but don't think I've heard, open. Tickets are, ahem, $40. Count me as a maybe.

SCORE! Tickets are on sale on Monday for.. wait for it.. ASIA at the Nokia. The show is Friday, September 8th. Only time will tell if I buy a ticket in the heat of the moment.

Finally, I leave you with the only version of the song "Crazy" (orig. by Gnarls Barkley) that I can stand to listen to. And I speak as someone who has always hated this song, not someone who's just gotten tired of it. It's a live version by the Twilight Singers. Stereogum has it, and it's actually pretty damn good. They played it in NYC last week too.

Unemployed Hipsters Pwn New York

If we needed any more evidence that unemployed hipsters own this town, Belle and Sebastian have announced that tickets for their free July 4th show in Battery Park will be available on a first-come/first-served basis at, ahem, several Starbucks locations.

Specifically, tickets will be made available (2 per person) on Tuesday, June 27th as follow:

Noon to 2:00PM:

Starbucks, corner of the Woolworth Building, 233 Broadway at Barclay Street
Starbucks, Park Slope, 164 7th Avenue, Brooklyn

5:00PM to 7:00PM:

Starbucks, One Battery Park Plaza, Near State Street and Pearl Street
Starbucks, Astor Place, 13-25 Astor Place

Seriously, they couldn't have done one midtown/uptown location for those of us with day jobs?

For those of you unencumbered enough to snag tickets, gates are at 2pm, show starts at 3:30pm, and Martha Wainwright opens. For more info, go to the band's tour page.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's 6/6/06, and Satan Loves His Children

And he especially loves himself some King Diamond:

If the King doesn't do it for you, Every Day Should Be Saturday weighs in with a little Iron Maiden. Run to the hills!


Slow news day, folks. Hoping to have some interesting new live sets for you soon.. Until then, I'll point you to the wonderful work of my fellow bloggers:

Bradley's Almanac has last night's Radiohead show from Boston. I've never been a huge fan of the band, and haven't really liked any of their albums aside from O.K. Computer, but I have to admit that they're just about the most courageous band out there. I've heard good things about the news songs they're playing this tour, so I'll give this a listen.

Can You See the Sunset From the Southside? has an incredible live Mission of Burma set from CBGBs in 1983.

Jefitoblog has the Complete Idiot's Guide to The Church. Not that church. Or that church. Or that one, either. Instead, it's a great primer on the criminally underrated Australian band.

And two quick pieces of news:

The Who are returning with a new album. Seriously.

The Smiths are not. While I'm sure Morrissey's sick to death of all the reunion rumors, I love the utter disdain he shows his former bandmates. Quoth the Moz:

What's the point? I feel as if I've worked very hard since the demise of The Smiths and the others haven't, so why hand them attention that they haven't earned? We are not friends, we don't see each other. Why on earth would we be on a stage together?"

Monday, June 05, 2006

Gary Louris on Minnesota Public Radio

Gary Louris (of the Jayhawks and Golden Smog) and Kraig Johnson did a live in-studio performance on Minnesota Public Radio last Friday. The set included a song Louris wrote for the new Wordplay documentary called "Read Every Word", and two new Golden Smog songs called "Listen Joe" and "Tarpit".

Go listen.

One fascinating tidbit from the set -- Golden Smog just finished recording an EP which will be coming out around Thanksgiving. Two Smog releases in one year? Did I end up in bizarro land and not realize it?

Finally, Ticketweb tells me that Golden Smog tickets for Bowery Ballroom go on sale tomorrow at noon.

Rhino > AOL

In one fell swoop, Rhino Records takes down AOL Music for the "streaming album of the week" award. Rhino is now streaming the new Replacements collection, Don't You Know Who I Think I Was? The Best of the Replacements.



POOL & DIVE (new!)

It's Still Real to Me, Dammit!

There are no words to describe the deep and powerful emotions felt by this brave wrestling fan:

Dirty Pretty Things Get U.S. Release Date reports that the debut album from Britain's Dirty Pretty Things, entitled Waterloo to Anywhere, will finally see a U.S. release on August 1st via Interscope Records.

If the name doesn't ring a bell, Dirty Pretty Things are the new band from Carl Barat and Gary Powell of The Libertines. As I've mentioned before, this album dispels any questions about who the real talent was in the Libertines (i.e.,not Pete Doherty). Do yourself a favor and pick it up when it comes out. Or, if you can't wait that long, you can pick up the Import CD for $13.49 at

You may have noticed that the album has been listed on my "What I'm Listening To" banner on the left for a couple of months now. That's how good the album is. Possibly the best flat-out rock album I've heard this year. For a limited time, check out one of my favorite songs off the album:
"Doctors and Dealers".

I Wish It Was Sunday, 'Cause That's My Funday

Random bits and pieces...

From 1987 to 1990-ish, I was a huge Metallica fan. Unfortunately, between the diminishing quality of their music and my own shifting music tastes, I haven't really been able to listen to them much in recent years (although I do pull out ...And Justice for All every once in a while). Do I need to start paying attention to them again? Word is that, at their Rock Am Ring performance the other day, they played the entirety of Master of Puppets. Kick ass. And YouTube has video from their 9+ minute performance of "Orion". (Thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for the head's up!) Now if only their new album can sound more like the Metallica of old, rather than the trash that was St. Anger.

Sticking with 80's rock, Sneak Move brings you David Lee Roth's immortal "Yankee Rose". Haven't heard this song in years.

Grab your handkerchiefs - Keane might not hit number one when their new turd album comes out in a couple of weeks. iTunes accidentally posted the band's new album early on its Belgian site, and the rush of Keane fans to download it -- who are these people? -- has led folks to speculate that when the album actually comes out, everyone who wants it will already have it. The band is apparently unhappy. I can understand. Who cares if your fans spend their money to buy your record? It's more important that they buy your record when you tell them to, so you can hit number one. I get it.

Dry Ink Magazine has a great article about one of my favorite bands, Lucero.

Gerard at Can't Stop the Bleeding posts a fascinating discussion by The Fall's Mark E. Smith about how running his band is like managing England's national football team. Err, ok.

RBally has live Interpol from London.

Hadn't heard this, but AOL is posting live clips from Bruce Springsteen's current tour in support of his Pete Seeger album. Interesting. Bruce is "hand-picking" one song per show.

Kingblind has several Peel Sessions up today, including from The Smiths (1983), Camera Obscura (2003) and Swervedriver (1990).

Finally, for those of you out there who aren't familiar with Ride, and you know who you are, Chrome Waves has a great post with a bunch of live tracks and album tracks. Go get schooled.

AOL Roundup (Week of June 5th)

Thanks to Stereogum for reminding me about AOL's streaming music this week. After a couple weeks of truly awful music, I'd kinda forgotten it even existed..

This week? Pretty good, actually.

Live, Songs From Black Mountain
Cheap Trick, Rockford
Smoosh, Free To Stay
Sound Team, Movie Monster
The New Cars, It's Alive
Bouncing Souls, The Gold Record
Mojave 3, Puzzles Like You [Recommended]
Frank Sinatra Jr., That Face
Psapp, The Only Thing I Ever Wanted

Sunday, June 04, 2006

More New Replacements??

Of all places, has a great (but short) interview with Paul Westerberg today. In the space of two pages, we learn that (a) he wrote "Message to the Boys" thirteen or fourteen years ago and held onto it in case the band ever got back together, (b) they recorded several more songs while in the studio last year, and (c) Goo Goo Dolls give good gifts to people whose sound they rip off.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Terrorists Have Won

Paris Hilton's new song has leaked, and Stereogum has it.

Seriously, when is her 15 minutes going to end so she can just live out her days with her money and leave us alone?

At least we can all take some satisfaction in the rumors that she has herpes.

They're Baaaack

Just noticed on the Mercury Lounge's website that The Whigs are coming back to town on Friday, July 14th. No tickets on sale yet. Consider me there.

Also, Shearwater is playing Mercury Lounge a week earlier, on Friday, July 7th. Tickets for that one are on sale.

And don't forget that Shearwater's also playing with Magnolia Electric Co. and Bottomless Pit (ex-Silkworm) at the Knitting Factory on Saturday, September 16th. Now that I'm going to Lollapalooza instead of the Austin City Limits festival, I can go to that one too. (If, of course, I'm still in NYC...)

Human Television @ Mercury Lounge, NYC [6/2/06]

I hadn't planned on going to see Human Television last night. I'd already seen them twice in April, and while I'm a huge fan of their EP and recent full-length album, they hadn't impressed me live. While not bad, it just seemed as if the band hadn't been playing together much, and the shows were kinda sloppy and all over the place. So, my plan was to skip the show and watch the Pistons beat the Heat in Game 6.

Yeah, that didn't work out so well. So just before halftime I gave up and decided to the show with my friend Matt.

The band was 10 times better last night than they were back in April. I don't think I've ever used the word "tight" with them before, but that's the best way to describe them last night. Such a pleasant surprise. It finally felt as if the band had been practicing, and as if they were taking this whole touring band thing seriously. Now all they need to do is (a) add a little bit of stage banter, and (b) learn to dress. [I'm not a fashion maven by any stretch, but seriously Boyd (?), $3 t-shirt and shorts? At least try to look like you care.]

Anyway, with those two caveats, I can finally recommend that you catch the band live next time they're in town. And, guess what? They have a national tour next month taking them to the West Coast, Chicago, Cincinnati, DC and elsewhere. Full tour schedule is at their MySpace page.